May Day 13: A Day at the Dam

I (Mike) think today was a welcome break from the daily routine of “where the hell are we?” We overnighted at Albert Falls, Notuli Camp site and although six of us squeezed into one army-style tent, only one snorer kept me awake.

Pandora, Pens & Preven had an environmental class with five schools this morning at the dam. Apparently, all went and the kids enjoyed the cooldrinks and biccies supplied afterwards.   Penny & I went onto the dam wall with the camera crew to have a tour of the facilities with David, the local dam superintendant.

He has worked here for 37 years and gave his impressions of the 1987 floods.

I decided I needed a bit of nostalgia, as I had worked here for Natal Parks Board in 1988 and part of 1989. (They soon saw my amazing potential and transferred me to St Lucia).  I walked around looking at some areas, in particular “Python Bay”, named for good reason. I took a look at their old haunt, but found no sign of them. Looking in on our old house up at Notuli, I realised 24 years had passed in a flash.

Wildlife seen today included crowned cranes,

fish eagle (one with a catch), giraffe, nyala, impala, blesbok, zebra

and 4 dassies on the dam wall.

Late this afternoon rain threatened on the northern side of the dam, but it appears to be passing by us at this stage.

A huge thank you to Moraig for the delicious chicken stew and salad and to Alice for the muffins!  Thanks to Msinsi for the accommodation and support and to Umgeni Water for arranging the dam wall tour.  Thanks to Kevin for bringing the canoes for tomorrow’s leg and to Liz Gow for popping in with supplies and helping Wendy repack the foodstore.

We are all ready to set off tomorrow from Albert Falls dam on our next leg to Cumberland.

Written by: Mike Farley

Albert Falls Schools Open Day Programme

Five Pietermaritzburg schools joined the ‘Mayday for Rivers’ Education team at Albert Falls today:  Inzuzwenhle Primary,

Shri Vishnu,

Rangrage Pre-Primary,

Nizamia Islamic School

and Ester Pyne Smith Secondary for a very successful programme of activities.

Thanks go to Msinsi Holdings for the venue and support, Caroline Clover, our DUCT administrative manager for the delicious tea and lunch, Preven Chetty and Penz Malinga for leading group activities.

Ages varied from Pre-School learners to Grade 12 and it was wonderful to see such a varied group have such fun together!

Three schools are WESSA/WWF Eco-Schools and we are hoping that the other two will join the programme.  Nizamia Secondary is the first school to Adopt-a-River as part of the ‘Mayday for Rivers’ Education Programme.

Mahomed Saeed, Principal of Nizamia comments: “We need to protect the health of rivers in order to have sufficient water in the future for our communities.  In this regard, an invitation is open to all schools and conscience-driven individuals to join the Mayday for Rivers initiative.   The walk aims to unite everyone in establishing a green corridor and to involve the river’s community in a fellowship to particpate in the restoration of the river. An excellent programme.”


About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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3 Responses to May Day 13: A Day at the Dam

  1. Hi All you intrepid uMgeniites I have been interested and awed by the task and the depth of commitment you have all had in undertaking this project. You seem to have contacted so many people and made them aware of the importance of the River and river systems in South Africa. I can only offer my support and congratulations. The photos and the beautiful descriptions have made me so aware of the beauty of our wonderful Province and our greater world. Thank You.
    Gill V W

  2. Jean Martens says:

    Thank you Nikki and all for your awesome and inspiring journey, and for bringing us along with you!

  3. Jane Weston says:

    To all the River Warriors I am loving all the posts and the different nuances each brings. If the river’s path to the sea is like our journey through life I can’t wait to read of the adventures to come. Don’t know if poetry is what you need now but here’s the Tewa ‘Song of the Sky Loom’ to soothe the soul if not the feet.
    O our Mother the Earth, O our Father the Sky, Your children are we, and with tired backs We bring you the gifts that you love. Then weave for us a garment of brightness, May the warp be the white light of morning, May the weft be the red light of evening, May the fringes be the falling rain, May the border be the standing rainbow. Thus weave for us a garment of brightness That we may walk fittingly where birds sing, That we may walk fittingly where grass is green O our Mother Earth, O our Father Sky!.

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